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Wanderlust : A History of Walking

3.91 (3,232 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of the memoir Recollections of My Nonexistence Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 326 pages
  • 159 x 210 x 19mm | 318g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 5 B/W PHOTOS THROUGHOUT
  • 0140286012
  • 9780140286014
  • 8,843

Table of contents

Acknowledgments


I. The Pace of Thoughts
1. Tracing a Headland: An Introduction
3. The Mind at Three Miles an Hour
3. Rising and Falling: The Theorists of Bipedalism
4. The Uphill Road to Grace: Some Pilgrimages
5. Labyrinths and Cadillacs: Walking into the Realm of the Symbolic
II. From the Garden to the Wild
6. The Path Out of the Garden
7. The Legs of William Wordsworth
8. A Thousand Miles of Conventional Sentiment: The Literature of Walking
9. Mount Obscurity and Mount Arrival
10. Of Walking Clubs and Land Wars


III. Lives of the Streets
11. The Solitary Stroller and the City
12. Paris, or Botanizing on the Asphalt
13. Citizens of the Streets: Parties, Processions, and Revolutions
14. Walking After Midnight: Women, Sex, and Public Space


IV. Past the End of the Road
15. Aerobic Sisyphus and the Suburbanized Psyche
16. The Shape of a Walk
17. Las Vegas, or the Longest Distance Between Two Points


Notes
Index
Sources for Foot Quotations
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Review quote

"Solnit is an elegant essayist . . . [she] joyfully trespasses across disciplines and genres, tracing a path through philosophy, paleontology, politics, religion, and literary criticism."
--The New York Times "A tour de force . . . Solnit, a writer of unflagging grace, has a remarkable ability to wrest meaning from the mundane."
--San Francisco Chronicle
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About Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is the author of numerous books, including Hope in the Dark, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, and As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. In 2003, she received the prestigious Lannan Literary Award.
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Rating details

3,232 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,008)
4 39% (1,245)
3 23% (739)
2 6% (192)
1 1% (48)
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